The evolution of biomass in Spain

Biomass is one of the renewable resources with greater future and potential in our country, because we have great means to generate it: agricultural, forestry resources… However, we are still far from desirable levels and from exploiting it as we could. Why? Where are we at?

Luckily, biomass is increasingly present in our area and has a future very promising. This is reflected in the data from the AVEBIOM Biomass Observatory, which we explain below.



But first of all we are going to define what this renewable energy consists of. What we call biomass is organic or industrial matter that is used to generate renewable energy derived from the use of the combustion process of this same matter. Normally, biomass is generated with substances from living beings or their remains and residues. It can be made up of leaves, wood debris, debris, and so on.

Explaining it in a simple way, if for the farmer getting rid of his crop residues has always been a problem, the use of biomass is a way out, since all this waste can be used to produce electricity, at the domestic or industrial level. Products from biomass that are used for energy purposes are called biofuels, and they can be solid (for thermal and electrical purposes) or liquid (biofuels). Currently it is possible to use energy from biomass in different ways, from power and heat generation plants to traffic and transport applications.

Next we are going to see different graphs, which show the evolution of three of the main factors of the energy sector: estimated power in kW, number of installations and energy generated in GWh. The source of the data used is the web specialized in the sector:

What is the

La Spanish Association for Biomass Energy Valorization (AVEBIOM) created this website in 2016 to bring biomass data and estimates to as many people as possible, with the main objective of bringing together, in the same platform, information on the use of thermal biomass in Spain.

Thanks to AVEBIOM's own data and those provided by the National Boiler Biomass Observatory and the Biofuel Price Index, in addition to the collaboration of companies and entities in the biomass sector, can generate evolutions, comparisons and provide data and estimates.

Graph 1: Evolution of the number of biomass installations in Spain

A clear example of the great boom of this technology is the increase in the number of installations of this type of renewable energy.

The latest data available shows that in 2015 there were 160.036 installations in Spain. An increase of 25 percentage points compared to the previous year, where the figure was just over 127.000.

8 years ago, there were not 10.000 installations and in 2015 they already exceeded 160.000, it is clear that evolution and the increase in biomass in our country is a verifiable fact and clearly visible.


biomass boilers for homes

We recall that these boilers are used as a source of biomass energy and for the generation of heat in homes and buildings. They use as an energy source natural fuels such as wood pellets, olive pits, forest residues, nut shells, etc. They are also used to heat water in homes and buildings.

Graph 2: Evolution of estimated biomass power in Spain (kW)

A clear consequence of the increase in the number of installations is the increase in the estimated power.

The total installed power estimated for Spain was 7.276.992 kW in 2015. Comparing it with the previous period, the total installed power increased by 21,7% compared to 2014, where the kW estimate was just under 6 million.

As can be seen in the graph, the increase in the weight of biomass in this metric grows from a constant way over the years.

The growth experienced in terms of total installed power from 2008 to the last data provided in 2015 it has been 381%, going from 1.510.022 kW to more than 7.200.000.

Graph 3: Evolution of energy generated in Spain (GWh)


To finish with the graphs, we will analyze the evolution during the last 8 years of the energy generated by this energy in Spain.

Like the two previous metrics, growth is constant over the years being the 2015, with 12.570 GWh, the year with the highest GWh volume. 20,24% more than in 2014. The increase in energy generated by biomass since 2008 has been 318%.

The integration of biomass among the main energy sources of our country continues its course constantly. To see clearly its positive evolution just look at the 2008 data.

In that period there were 9.556 installations that generated an estimated energy of 3.002,3 GWh with an estimated power of 1.510.022 Kw and in 2015, last data available, has increased to 12.570 GWh of generated energy, 160.036 installations and 7.276.992 Kw of estimated power.

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